While many fans have their eyes on WWE 2K24 coming up next month, severe and serious allegations against two major figures in WWE have 2K looking to make changes before launch. The wrestling world was rocked when the Wall Street Journal reported Janel Grant had filed a lawsuit against Vince McMahon for sex trafficking, but he was far from the only man implicated. The report also named Brock Lesnar, WWE is a co-defendent in the lawsuit, and now the company is scrambling to respond.
Updated February 6, 2024: Since publishing, the new WWE 2K24 gameplay trailer showed an updated version of the 40 Years of WrestleMania cover that has removed Brock Lesnar. There's no word yet on if he's also been removed from the in-game roster or any potential Showcase matches.
Sex trafficking allegations could see McMahon and Lesnar removed from WWE 2K24
The lawsuit revealed and filed on January 25 focuses on a history of coercive control and sex trafficking by longtime WWE figurehead Vince McMahon, and it also alleges McMahon used a victim as a pawn to entice Brock Lesnar to sign a new WWE contract. The news was enough for sponsor Slim Jim to temporarily pull out of the Royal Rumble event, but they changed course after Vince McMahon resigned.
Brock Lesnar was also reportedly involved in that event and creative plans for WrestleMania, but he hasn't shown back up and appears to be off television for the foreseeable future. Now, new reports are indicating WWE's push to distance themselves from Vince McMahon and Brock Lesnar will also reach the upcoming WWE 2K24 release.
According to Dave Meltzer with Wrestling Observer Radio [H/T SEScoops], "they are trying to figure out a situation on how to get him out of the video game, and they're trying to -- which may not be possible, you know, and trying to figure out a way to erase him from history, which is completely impossible, you can't do it, you know.”
Their potential removal of McMahon will be made particularly difficult by the Forty Years of WrestleMania showcase, which almost certainly was planned to include him. Brock Lesnar has already been removed from the WWE SuperCard mobile game, but he's also likely a part of the Showcase mode and is on the Forty Years of WrestleMania Edition cover.
The situation leaves 2K developers in a time crunch, especially if they're attempting to make large changes to Showcase mode or any other part of the game that included either man. Regardless of the outcome for WWE 2K24, the situation is far from over for Vince McMahon, Brock Lesnar, and the WWE. One week after the lawsuit was filed, WSJ also reported that Vince McMahon is the target of a federal sex trafficking investigation that could lead to criminal charges. Efforts to remove reminders of the situation won't stop any of the legal wheels already in motion.